[Answer] How To Make A COVID19 Vessel Hygiene Plan?


During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever maintaining a good housekeeping onboard can help prevent the virus spread, reports Safety4Sea and we agree to that.

Keeping the recent developments in mind, we would like to elucidate on onboard cleanliness and make shippers and seafarers aware of COVID19 cleaning. In view of this, the American P&I Club reminds key tips which are important to follow in general for a safe workplace onboard a vessel.

This article taken from the American Club guidance points ou to that.

Housekeeping Is Crucial 

The appearance of ships and shipboard equipment on the outside suggests how well things are operating on the inside, and more importantly contributes to the health, safety and happiness of the vessel and crew.

”Housekeeping oversights rarely go unnoticed during port state control or vetting inspections, ISM audits and condition surveys. A well-kept vessel is sure to make a good first impression.” The American Club noted.

Especially in these challenging times, personal hygiene is the very best weapon in the fight against this contagious disease. Moreover, since everyone can be infected when they touch a surface with virus particles on it and then touch their own mouth, nose or eyes, maintaining a good housekeeping is vital.

Onboard Hygiene Tips

According to the American Club, few of the key tips for proper hygiene onboard are the following:

Cabins and guest rooms

What to look for: Cabin and guest rooms are clean and tidy, tiles and flooring are in place, light fixtures and bulbs are functional, and no traces of food left out to attract vermin or insects.
Task: Periodic cabin and guest room inspections and prompt reporting and repair of any issues. Ensure shoes, clothing and equipment are stowed in cabins or designated locker rooms.

Steel structures

What to look for: Rust and wastage of steel structures.
Task: Scale, paint and preserve! Maintain steel coatings for the prevention of rust and wastage while improving the appearance of the vessel at the same time.

Paint locker

What to look for: Uncovered paint cans or containers not properly stored and not secured for heavy weather.
Task: Store materials appropriately to eliminate excessive paint and paint thinner fumes
covering containers or cans and ventilating the area.

Ladders and stairs

What to look for: Wet, oily, greasy, or dusty residues in ladder treads or stairs.
Task: Clean and degrease stairwells and ladder wells periodically and dry if wet. Apply nonskid materials or coating additives in areas found to be slippery. Also ensure accesses to ladders and stairs are clear of any material that can cause a trip and fall.

Laundry room

What to look for: Lint in the dryer filter/screen, or lint which has built up behind the dryer. Electrical connectionsare correctly in place and the dryers are in good working order.
Task: Clean the lint screen/filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has
collected around the drum. Conduct periodic electrical tests as per the manufacturer’s

On deck

What to look for: Unlabeled vents and exhausts on deck, cleats, bitts, pad eyes on the deck and safe standing areas that are not easily detectable.
Task: Use stencils to label vents and exhausts. Paint and highlight obstructions in the walking path. Keep snap-back areas well painted and visible. Ensure save-all capacities are marked.

Oxygen and acetylene cylinders

What to look for: Oxygen and acetylene cylinders stored improperly or missing protective valve caps.
Task: Always store and secure oxygen and acetylene cylinders upright in different lockers at least five feet apart and with a fire division boundary between and prepared for sea conditions

Oil soaked rags

What to look for: Oil soaked rags stored in piles or in garbage compactors, bins, or ordinary garbage cans.
Tasks: Dispose of bilge residues, absorbent pads and oily rags in metal fire resistant covered receptacle. Empty and remove oily waste from worksite every day. Be aware piles of oily rags are susceptible to spontaneous heating.


What to look for: Excessive oil and water in bilges.

Task: Pump or drain the oil and water mix in bilge into the designated holding tank. Clean and make bilges oil free and establish leakage sources.

Sounding pipe

What to look for: Sounding pipe left unattended with lever left open, cap left off, and tape left in sounding pipe or automatic covers physically forced open.
Task: Secure sounding pipes after use unless instructed otherwise, if a sounding pipe is
unattended notify a supervisor.

Engine casing and machinery

What to look for: Evidence of oil splatters, drips, or soot and leaks from machinery.
Task: Clean and degrease engine casing when build up appears. Tighten leaking flanges, replace gaskets if necessary.

Lagging on exhaust piping

What to look for: Ripped or torn lagging, exposed pipes, and visible leaks.
Task: Identify areas in need of renewed lagging and replace as necessary


What to look for: Poorly lit areas, or with light fixtures which are not functioning.
Task: Replace or install additional lighting where necessary, promptly report light bulbs or light fixtures that are not operational.

Toilets and facilities

What to look for: Toilets are clean and operational. Shower, shower curtain, and sinks are free of mold, mildew, or soap scum.
Tasks: Report and repair any nonfunctional toilets. Use cleaning products that will not harm the bacteria in your ships marine sanitation device (MSD). Remove and prevent mildew buildup in shower, keep all facilities sanitized and tidy.


What to look for: A disorganized medicine cabinet and medical supplies which have been stored haphazardly.
Task: Stow medicines and medical supplies in an orderly fashion and regularly check and update the inventory. Cabinets or containments should be labeled and expired medicines properly disposed of.


What to look for: Adequate cleaning supplies provided onboard.
Task: Cleaning supplies are available to crewmembers with cleaning duties and for cabins and guest rooms. Crew should be advised on the proper use of cleaning agents and have the corresponding material safety data sheets (MSDS) available for referral.


What to look for: Expired or spoiled foods, vermin infestation or vermin droppings. Food stored on the shelves in a disorganized fashion and food items stowed on the deck.
Task: Remove food items placed directly on the deck, arrange food neatly on the shelves and in a dry, temperature controlled and well-ventilated area.

Personal attire

What to look for: Ship staff or crew members with dirty, messy, or improper work attire.
Task: Encourage seafarers to take pride in their appearance onboard, regularly clean and
degrease coveralls and work clothes. Also require that appropriate protective footwear is

Keep in mind that in light of the COVID-19 outbreak situation, good vessel hygiene contributes to first of all the health, safety and happiness of the vessel and crew.

You can find the full guidance here

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Source: Safety4Sea


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